Universiteit Leiden

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Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Prospective PhD candidates

If you are interested in pursuing a PhD at Leiden University this website wants to inform and help you.

In accordance with the VSNU classification, the Graduate School of FSW distinguishes four types of PhD candidates:

  1. PhD candidates with employee status (werknemerpromovendi) are appointed at FSW specifically to do PhD research. They are supervised by (a) member(s) of the Faculty staff and have an obligation to FSW to graduate. Application to a paid position occurs in response to a vacancy advertised by the University. The initial contract is for one year. Within that period, a progress review is carried out to decide whether the contract will be extended for a maximum of three more years (full-time PhD programme). A part-time contract may also be longer.
     
  2. Members of staff working on a PhD (promoverende medewerkers) have a paid position at FSW. They are not appointed to do PhD research, but have decided to do a PhD thesis. They are supervised by (a) member(s) of the Faculty staff. For members of staff working on a PhD the same rules apply as for external PhD candidates.
     
  3. Contract PhD candidates (contract-/beurspromovendi) do not have an employment contract with Leiden University, but are funded by a scholarship, or are granted a salary and/or time by their external employer. Contract PhD candidates are supervised by (a) member(s) of the Faculty staff and have an obligation towards the grant supplier to graduate. The PhD graduation is planned at Leiden University. PhD candidates who are applying for a personal research grant elsewhere and wish to carry out research at FSW must first find a professor at FSW who is willing to supervise them. For further information see “Timetable PhD programme”, “How to find a supervisor” and “Admission to the Graduate School”. Contract PhD candidates of CA/OS are obliged to pay bench fees.
     
  4. External PhD candidates (buitenpromovendi) are not appointed at the Faculty but work on a PhD thesis with their own funding. They are supervised by (a) member(s) of the Faculty but have no obligation to graduate. The PhD graduation is planned at Leiden University. PhD candidates who wish to carry out research at FSW first have to find a professor at FSW who is willing to supervise them. For further information see “Timetable PhD programme”, “How to find a supervisor” and “Admission to the Graduate School”. External PhD candidates can unfortunately not be guaranteed an individual work space in the Faculty. At CA/OS, external PhD candidates are obliged to pay bench fees.

Please note that the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and the Institute of Political Science distinguish between only 2 types of PhD candidates:

  1. internally funded PhD candidates or PhD candidates with employee status (‘internal’ PhD candidates, i.e. category 1 above), and
  2. PhD candidates without internal funding (‘external’ PhD candidates, i.e. category 2, 3 and 4 above).

Prospective PhD candidates who wish to conduct PhD research with a graduation planned at FSW can apply to a vacancy for an internal-funded PhD position. Applicants are required to send an application letter and curriculum vitae to the correct address before the deadline. When applying for a position, candidates should mention the vacancy number. If their application is successful and once they have been accepted by a supervisor, they have to be admitted to the Graduate School (see Admission to the Graduate School).

The first step for a prospective PhD candidate, with the exception of those who have been offered a paid position at FSW, is to find a supervisor. Finding the right supervisor is a key element in the process of obtaining a doctorate. Within the FSW Graduate School, PhD research can be conducted in a wide range of subjects across the Social and Behavioural Sciences, with 4 distinct PhD programmes offered by the Institutes. Prospective supervisors can be found by searching the research areas of academic staff members on each Institute’s website:

  • Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS)
  • Cultural Anthropology and Developmental Sociology
  • Education and Child Studies
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Prospective PhD candidates should send an e-mail including their CV and research proposal to the staff member they would like to have as their supervisor.

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